Gelatin is a protein used in treating different conditions, such as osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, brittle nails, and aging skin. This article discusses its origins, possible benefits, side effects, precautions, and how to take it.
What Is Gelatin?
Gelatin is the product of partially hydrolyzed collagen taken from joints, bones, and other types of animal connective tissue. It typically comes from cows and pigs, but it can be obtained from other sources, such as fish, chickens, and seaweed.
Benefits of Gelatin
Gelatin is primarily used for its protein and amino acid content. It has also been studied for its potential antioxidant, anticancer, antihypertensive, and anti-photoaging effects. Some of gelatin’s possible health benefits include:
Wound Healing and Other Skin Conditions
Gelatin is made from collagen, the most abundant protein in human skin. According to a 2021 expert review, this makes gelatin an excellent option for wound healing.
Other preliminary research showed certain types of gelatin could reduce signs of aging skin. For instance, a year-long study discovered that feeding rats marine gelatin increased collagen density and skin thickness.
There is anecdotal evidence that gelatin assists with joint pain caused by osteoarthritis.
However, there are no well-designed studies or human trials to validate these claims.
Gelatin contains nutrients that are important to bone health. According to a study examining the effects of two types of gelatin on bone mineral density (BMD) in young rats, marine and porcine (pig) gelatin improved BMD and reduced bone brittleness in the rats.
Side Effects of Gelatin
Gelatin is safe when used in amounts commonly found in food. However, taking larger doses (15g daily) could result in the following:
● Swollen gums
● Sore throat
● Mouth sores
Despite its presumed safety, gelatin supplements might not be for everyone. For instance, there isn’t enough scientific evidence to know if it’s safe for people who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Gelatin is also not appropriate for people who are vegan or vegetarian because it comes from animals. However, vegans and vegetarians can get plant-based versions.
How to Consume Gelatin
Recommended dosages vary for gelatin supplements due to a lack of reliable information. As such, follow the dosing directions provided by your healthcare provider or those written on the product label.
Gelatin is also found in various foods, including cakes, jelly, and marshmallows. Alternatively, you can try gelatin powder, which can be mixed with smoothies, soups, sauces, and ice cream.
Gelatin is a protein source obtained from collagen and usually comes from animal sources. There is evidence that gelatin could be useful for various health conditions, but more research is required. It’s important to consult your healthcare provider on the best way to consume it and the recommended dosage.